Japanese messaging app Line raises $1 billion

Making a big splash in what otherwise has been mostly a dull year for tech IPOs, Japanese messaging app Line raised $1.1 billion in its public market debut.

The company priced its shares at $32.84, at the high end of its planned price range. Line offered 35 million shares, according to Renaissance Capital, which manages IPO-focused exchange-traded funds.

The company will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol LN, and on the Tokyo Stock Exchange under the symbol 3938.

Line, which offers free mobile messaging, voice and video call services popular in Japan, appears to hold the record for the largest IPO of 2016 so far — beating out Twilio’s $150 million debut in June, Acacia Communications’ $100 million debut in May, and SecureWorks’ $120 million debut in April. It’s been an unusually slow year for tech IPOs, especially in Silicon Valley, where Twilio is the only company that’s been brave enough to take the plunge. Experts say market volatility has been one factor, combined with an increasing number of startups that are happier to continue raising venture capital funds instead of voyaging out into the public market.

Line had delayed pricing its IPO in late June amid turmoil in the global financial markets over the U.K.’s vote to leave the European Union, according to The Wall Street Journal. The company will begin trading in New York and in Tokyo.

Line’s offering comes on the heels of San Francisco-based cloud communications startup Twilio’s successful IPO. Twilio shares skyrocketed to nearly twice their IPO price on their first day of trading.

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